Golf Course Architecture - Issue 63, January 2021

61 afforded the opportunity to be hired. In March 2020, the ASGCA hosted a Junior Design Challenge in three age groups for golfers 8-17 years old, and 33 per cent of entries we received were from girls. We know there is interest in golf course architecture from girls.” Kari Haug highlights the financial pressures: “Golf course architecture is an expensive profession. There are websites and software licenses to maintain, professional dues, travel and marketing expenses, continuing education, and so forth. While these expenses exist for male architects as well, women have the additional obstacle of making only 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men, when they can get the job. It is a fact that most men (and women) will tend to hire men for architecture jobs, and when women do get the work, compensation is often much lower than for men. Being overlooked for work, and paid less when we get it, makes keeping a business solvent quite difficult. “I don’t know for sure, but I think the difficulties in securing work and the consequential financial strain causes most female architects to eventually close up shop and leave the profession. If not financial strain, there must be some other insidious force that causes attrition, because many women have completed rigorous education, but have not stayed in the profession. Further, the financial outlook likely causes those considering entrance to the profession to choose a different career path. I know this to be true in the case of at least one promising female architect.” Kerr points out that women shouldn’t however be put off by the prospect of unequal pay, saying: “I have always been paid well and in line with my male counterparts, and I hope that provides some inspiration that other females can be rewarded financially in golf.” So, what is the outlook? Moser quotes Alice Dye, who said: “Discrimination in golf isn’t going to be broken down by women, it’s going to be broken down by the fathers of daughters who see that their female child doesn’t have the same opportunity as their son.” Moser says: “Transition won’t happen in a day, week or year. It will slowly change, especially as golf design is such a small niche. Ultimately, what is holding back more women designers is finding clients who will make the leap to hiring us. But as more women play golf, so will more enter the industry. It will become less special and quite normal to see a woman as an architect, shaper or superintendent. “Until then, it can only be the goal to grow interest, mentor and involve equally eager and talented women into the golf design world, working alongside the best architects of the current era.” GCA The late Vicki Martz, left, worked with Arnold Palmer’s design business for 25 years before setting up her own practice. She is pictured here with Jan Bel Jan, who in 2019 and 2020 served as president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects Photo: courtesy of Jan Bel Jan